Assistant Professor Yang Siqiang: The Full Recession: Private Versus Social Costs of COVID-19

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(Correspondent: Zhong Yiming) Recently, the paper “The Full Recession: Private Versus Social Costs of COVID-19” co-authored by Assistant Professor Yang Siqiang of our school has been published in International Economic Review.


2020 official recession figures ignore the costs associated with the loss of human life due to COVID-19. This article constructs full recession measures that consider the death toll. The model features nonexpected utility, leisure, age-specific survival rates, and tractable heterogeneity. The paper finds an average full recession of 10.7%, which reflects the net value of an aggregate drop in consumption of 2.7%, an average increase of 197 leisure hours and about 540,000 lives lost in the first pandemic year. The full recession for a utilitarian planner is 14.5%, which aligns with that of individuals in their late 50s.


International Economic Review is widely recognized as an international authoritative journal, as well as an A-level foreign academic journal recognized by School of Economics.